A Luxe One-of-a-Kind Houseboat in Santa Barbara Just Drifted Onto the Market for $5 Million

Not interested in having what everyone else has? For those who seek something out of the ordinary as a full-time home, a weekend getaway, or maybe even an art studio or workspace, one of the four floating homes berthed in Santa Barbara Harbor is now available to an iconoclast buyer for $4.9 million. The rare, wood-clad residence is co-listed with Bryony Atkinson of MaisonRE and Patricia Ruben of Sotheby’s International Realty.

The two-story structure was recently rebuilt in a four-year labor of love by a father-son team—the elder is an engineer and the younger is a carpenter. Their goal was to maximize efficiency and storage while minimizing maintenance and environmental impact, all without sacrificing design and while also creating a sense of real and perceived privacy.

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Floating House Santa Barbara
At the core of the two-story residence is a wooden staircase and ladder that climbs to a hatch for roof access.

The houseboat, christened the Thomas Jefferson, showcases quartered and rift white oak floors, a masterfully engineered wooden staircase that incorporates tons of storage, and, throughout, pops of burlwood, mahogany, and brass. Tinted and carefully placed windows, plus a thoughtful interior lighting scheme, ensure occupants are largely invisible while inside.

Depending on how the various spaces are used, the houseboat accommodates two sleeping areas that share one bathroom. On the lower level, full-height glass sliders open a lounge/art studio to a deck just above the water, and, upstairs, a large porthole over the kitchen sink winks at classic maritime design. High windows in the bedroom area on the upper level provide privacy day and night, and a skylight over the shower floods the plaster-walled space with natural light.

Floating House Santa Barbara
In the bedroom area, high windows ensure day- and night-time privacy.

A ladder ascends to a hatch that provides access to the flat roof, with wraparound views of the harbor, the Channel Islands, and La Cumbre Peak, the highest point in Santa Barbara. And, for rinsing off after a paddleboarding session or surf outing, the Thomas Jefferson has an outdoor shower.

The other three grandfathered houseboats berthed in the harbor are considerably smaller, per marketing materials, and municipal codes will not allow any additional houseboats within the harbor’s placid waters and rock jetty, making the Thomas Jefferson a particularly rare offering.

Click here for more photos of Santa Barbara Floating Home.

Floating House Santa Barbara
Floating House Santa Barbara

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